12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic

Fleur de Paris

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AllMusic Review by

Clearly one's attitude toward this disc is conditional upon one's tolerance for (or even enthusiastic embrace of) classical cuteness, with timbrally unlikely arrangements of French popular songs like "Une femme est une femme" mixed in with light classical selections. Evaluated purely on technical grounds, however, the accomplishment of the cellists of the venerable Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra here is impressive. The key thing is that the arrangements of this music, perhaps even more so than on other 12 Cellists albums, force the cello melody lines into the top range of the instrument and keep them there, demanding not only smoothness but syrupy French lyricism. Sample Debussy's Clair de lune, track 8, which must have required many hours of rehearsal, even for these world-class musicians, to create the quiet surfaces heard here. The conclusion of the program with an arrangement of Poulenc's wartime Paris cantata Figure humaine, rather than with a pure encore piece, is another nice touch, and the artful arrangement is by the 12 Cellists themselves. Nowhere in the program is there a hint of the sometimes stolid German way with French music. This can be safely recommended or gifted to fans of light recordings from the major orchestras. Notes are in German, English, and French.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:41
2 6:10
3 3:27
4 3:45
5 6:16
6 2:47
7 2:48
8 4:37
9 5:06
10 4:01
11 3:41
Figue humaine
12 2:50
13 1:53
14 1:44
15 1:59
16 1:03
17 1:47
18 2:35
19 4:36
blue highlight denotes track pick